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A retrofit service which helps people in Greater Manchester to eco-refurbish their homes is planning to train 3,500 builders, joiners, electricians and plumbers in green skills over the next five years thanks to money raised via a £550,000 community share offer.

People Powered Retrofit, a not-for-profit service, is seeking investment from individual investors so it can scale up its specialist eco-renovation training and help the city region hit its 2038 net-zero carbon target.

Even though there is a demand from homebuilders to green their properties, there is also a shortage of skilled, local contractors that can deliver the work. People Powered Retrofit is already a member of Mayor Andy Burnham’s Greater Manchester Retrofitting Task Force which aims to tackle this problem.

In addition to developing new green jobs and skills, People Powered Retrofit plans to use the money raised to make 1,150 homes in the region more energy efficient by 2026, saving 2,700 tonnes of carbon.

Funds raised through the community share offer will also help the not-for-profit service to recruit extra retrofit advisors, co-ordinators and assessors and reach thousands more householders, supporting them to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Jonathan Atkinson, People Powered Retrofit Programme Manager, said: “Our homes are responsible for about 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions, but to make properties more energy efficient, at scale, we need thousands more builders, installers and tradespeople with specialist green skills. Money raised through the community share offer will go towards skilling up this ‘green’ workforce.”

Floor insulation contractor Boris Afinogenov commented: “The training I got through People Powered Retrofit convinced me to turn my woodwork hobby into work. They gave me access to information and to people connected with floor insulation. I also learnt about whole-house insulation. They helped me to realise my ambitions, so I didn’t have to go back to my sales job.”

Ethex CEO Lisa Ashford noted: “We’re very pleased to welcome People Powered Retrofit to the Ethex platform. Our investors love to use their money to fund impactful organisations like this to scale and grow, and this organisation is a great example of grassroots action to tackle climate change.”

The People Powered Retrofit community share offer is open for investment until 30 November 2021. Investments start at £250 and go up to £55,000. Investments in the share offer target a 5% return. Visit https://www.ethex.org.uk/invest/people-powered-retrofit for more details.

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